Sunday’s match between India and Pakistan has a lot more riding on it than just pride. With MS Dhoni complaining of a sore back after Saturday’s practice session, it seems likely that the skipper may have to sit this one out. And all eyes will be on who replaces him at the helm.
The frontrunner for that position is Virat Kohli, who was the leading run scorer for India in 2012. “Virat is being seen as the future leader, so it would be a good opportunity to see how he handles the responsibility,” said a BCCI official on condition of anonymity. Incidentally, some former cricketers had suggested that Kohli should replace Dhoni as Test captain after the series defeat to England in December.
Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, both of whom have been vice captains in the past, could have been in the reckoning, but their poor form is likely to deter selectors from picking them.
Dhoni, meanwhile, gave nothing away. “We’ll have to see how it shapes up in the morning,” Dhoni said when asked about who will lead the team in his absence.